Making Connections: WSDOT Awards Contract for Improvements at I-405/SR 167 Interchange
BELLEVUE, WA Drivers who regularly experience congestion at the Interstate 405 and State Route 167 interchange are one step closer to getting some much-needed relief. The Washington State Department of Transportation announces the award of a design-build contract to start construction on the I-405/SR 167 Interchange Direct Connector project.
Guy F. Atkinson Construction, LLC of Renton, Washington, submitted the apparent best value proposal of $115.9 million to complete design and construction for the Direct Connector, making it the first Seattle, Washington, -area project funded by last summer's Connecting Washington gas tax package to start construction.
This project will build a new flyover ramp in Renton that links the northbound SR 167 HOT lane with the northbound I-405 carpool lane, and the southbound I-405 carpool lane with the southbound SR 167 HOT lane. Contractor crews will also rebuild portions of local streets and make improvements designed to reduce highway noise in neighboring communities.
"The Direct Connector has long been a top priority for the I-405 program, and we are looking forward to breaking ground on these important improvements," said Kim Henry, I-405/SR 167 Project Director. "Once completed, traffic across all lanes in the area will flow much more smoothly."
Currently, commuters experience up to eight hours of congestion at the I-405/SR 167 interchange each day. The existing configuration is a contributing factor with drivers in the left carpool or HOT lane merging across traffic to exit only to merge back across to continue their trip.
WSDOT and Atkinson Construction expect to sign a contract giving notice to proceed later this month on a first phase of design and construction activities. Motorists can expect to see construction activities start up later this summer. The latest road closure information will be posted on WSDOT's construction update website throughout the project.
The Direct Connector, which is part of the I-405 Master Plan's multimodal suite of improvements, is scheduled to open to traffic by mid-2019. It will ultimately connect new express toll lanes on I-405 between Bellevue and Renton with the SR 167 HOT lanes, creating a 40-mile continuous corridor of express toll lanes that give drivers an option for a faster, more reliable trip. The Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes project is expected to start construction in 2019.